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  [Aroid-l] Xanthosoma is X. sagittifolium
From: ju-bo at msn.com (Julius Boos) on 2007.10.20 at 11:59:06(16559)
From: bogus@does.not.exist.com ()
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 16:36:43 -0000
Subject: No subject

Dear Marek and other aroid ''nuts",

Marek and I are in agreement that the probable I.D. on the plant in the
photos from AW taken at Cibodas Bot. Garden in Indonesia is Xanthosoma
sagittifolia. If anyone cares to do so, there should be on the aroid-l
archives a long discussion on photos of a plant that, from memory, looked
just like this, Dr. Eduardo Goncalves eventually I.D.`d it as being X.
sagittifolia, not X. violacium. To be certain, we must hope that it
eventually blooms, and then examine the 'naughty bits', as my friend Wilbert
calls them!!
One more word on this, we must bear in mind that this plant probably
originated from tissue culture. On a previous post, I reported that a large
number of these were for sale at a major wholesale plant nursery here in S.
Florida, they came out of the tissue culture lab labeled as X. atrovirens,
and were being sold as a "Dwarf green Xanthosoma", that was until they
outgrew the 1 gal. pots! I I.D.`d them as being X. sagittifolia, which has
more or less replaced the edible rhizomes ("chubas"!) of X. robustum in
grocery stores, at least in my neighborhood. I now suspect (more than
suspect, actually) that the process of tissue culture causes changes to the
basic structure of some aroids that have undergone that process, hence the
'new' cultivars of Alocasia, Philodendron, etc. that are on the market, the
sellers admit that they are selections taken from large groups of plants
from tissue culture. We can therefor expect to see this in this species,
so be aware of minor changes in these tissue cultured plants.
In the interest of science, and remembering that "the proof of the pudding
is in the eating", I am presently cooking some small 'chubas' (rhizomes) I
JUST 'harvested" off a plant I obtained from the above-mentioned Commercial
nursery. I want to at least try to eliminate that it might in fact be X.
More on what is being called X. atrovirens----very rarely at Hispanic
Groceries in this area, a limited number of smallish rhizomes or better,
pieces of rhizome appear for sale as a food. They are not the entire
off-shoot, smaller rhizomes like those commonly for sale of several
cultivars of several Xanthosoma species, but appear to be harvested from the
main central rhizome of a plant. They have a dark colored, almost black
'skin' with the remains of roots, giving them a 'hairy' appearance. The
flesh is yellow, bordering on orange in color, with a thick 'skin', almost a
''rind''-like covering. When grown, the leaves have a attractive
'silvered' appearance, are sagittitate with a sinus with no bare areas all
the way to the juncture with the petiole. When cooked, they have a somewhat
'corky'/woody texture, and a wonderful peanut like flavor, quite different
to the other Xanthosomas. When grated and mixed with a little regular
wheat flour and other seasonings, then fried, they are great eating, the
nutty flavor coming through.
Ah-ha! I have just sampled the cooked rhizomes, and they have no sign of
the yellow color OR the nut-like flavor, and so to my taste they are X.


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